BITTER divisions have emerged in the Clover Moore-dominated City of Sydney Council with Cr Marcelle Hoff claiming she stepped down as deputy lord mayor after a colleague threatened to quit the party if she continued in the position.Cr Hoff said Cr Phillip Black twice threatened to withdraw support from the Clover Moore Independent Team (CMIT).”He called me a hog,” she complained yesterday.Last month Cr Black and the Lord Mayor, Cr Moore denied to the Herald that Cr Black had made any threat to withdraw his support from the six-member CMIT, which controls the 10-member council, if Cr Hoff did not step aside.But Cr Hoff said that was wrong, and that CMIT members heard Cr Black’s threat twice – once at a meeting of the group on September 21, just before the council voted in Cr Black as deputy lord mayor, and once four days previously at another CMIT meeting.”He said it on the evening of the vote, and on the Thursday or Friday before without the Lord Mayor present … I was told it was a throwaway line,” Cr Hoff said.Asked how Cr Moore could say no threat had been made, Cr Hoff said, ”Perhaps she did not hear.”Cr Black did not return calls yesterday but in an email to the Herald last month he denied making such a threat: ”The answer is NO and I don’t know where this is coming from.”A spokesman for Cr Moore did not respond to questions about threat yesterday. Details of the split in the Moore team emerged after emails circulated revealing Cr Hoff had lent the Clover Moore group $30,800 last year to cover election debts from the previous year.Cr Hoff said CMIT members had all agreed that rather than raise funds to pay off the debts, they would each repay a portion of the debt by the end of the past financial year.In an email to other council members, she said ”apart from one councillor” the debt was repaid well before the election of the deputy mayor.Asked who had not paid their share, Cr Hoff said: ”It was Phillip Black.”She denied that Cr Black, who owns a guesthouse in Surry Hills, might have held off repaying the loan until he had secured the deputy’s position.”Perhaps he could not afford it at the time,” she said.Cr Moore defended the loan arrangement.”Cr Hoff lent funds to the Clover Moore Independent Team and this was disclosed to the NSW Electoral Funding Authority,” she said.”The information is on the public record.”After the election there were still some outstanding bills from the campaign and Marcelle kindly offered to cover the costs until the team could repay the debt.”
Nanjing Night Net

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